Organize a series of “taste test” days to have students try different nutrient-rich food options. Have students test nutritious items already on the menu—and organize taste tests of new options that might be added to the menu.
- With your principal and school nutrition professionals, plan a series of taste tests throughout the year. You might hold weekly or monthly tests that feature foods students need to consume more of, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat and fat-free dairy foods. The goal of this program is to have students try—and enjoy—foods that they’ve never tried before, including foods that are already offered in the school meals program and new choices that can be added to the menu.
- Work with a team of students and school nutrition professionals to decide on a list of foods to include in taste tests. Obtain food samples from local stores, restaurants or farms.
- Advertise the taste tests to your entire student body by putting up posters in high-traffic areas, making PA announcements, using the school website and distributing flyers.
- During taste testing, provide students with nutrition information and trivia handouts. Ask classroom teachers to integrate nutrition education lessons on taste test days and to encourage participation. Use the Tools and Resources below to help provide information to students and teachers, including lesson plans and activities.
- Ask students to provide feedback after the taste testing. They can fill out “comment cards” or take a printed survey. Work with your principal and school nutrition professionals to have foods students like added to the cafeteria menus if they are not already offered.